February 19, 2018

Justin Trudeau arrived in India on February 17 for a week-long visit that will include a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 23.

The Indian newspaper Business Standard reports, "Currently India and Canada are engaged in the negotiation of the proposed Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPPA) for facilitating investments and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) or the proposed free trade pact."

That article notes, "Talks on FIPPA had earlier been stalled by New Delhi's decision to conduct negotiations for all investment pacts under the framework of the model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) issued by the government in 2015."

Negotiations on a Canada-India FIPPA were launched in September 2004 (under Liberal prime minister Paul Martin) and concluded in 2007 (under the Harper government), but the deal was never signed. Similarly talks on a Canada-India CEPA were launched in November 2010 (by the Harper government), but never concluded.

February 17, 2018

Will Minister McKenna listen to Mi'kmaq elder Keptin John Joe Sark?

Mi'kmaq elder Keptin John Joe Sark rejects federal environment minister Catherine McKenna's modifying the name of a national historic site in Prince Edward Island from Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst to Skmagn-Port-la-Joye-Fort Amherst.

The CBC reports, "The site came under scrutiny in recent years following a re-examination of Jeffery Amherst, who the fort was named after. Mi'kmaq elders have raised questions about honouring Amherst, arguing he was an enemy of Indigenous people. Scholars had debated Amherst's actions during his service until evidence was found he advocated the use of biological warfare, through smallpox blankets, to kill Indigenous peoples."

February 16, 2018

The Council of Canadians Saint John chapter recently celebrated the 94th birthday of chapter activist Sister Angie Martz with birthday cake and a toast with British Columbia wine!

Here's a snapshot of recent and upcoming chapter actions across the country!

1- Chapters attend 'Courage to Leap' public forum in Ottawa
2- Montreal chapter co-presents screening of 'Caretakers' and 'Water Warriors' at Concordia University
3- Victoria chapter pleased by reference to transportation in provincial Throne Speech
4- Victoria chapter prepares response to Greyhound letter to the editor rebuttal of their public transportation op-ed
5- Chapters ready to mobilize for the #ProtecttheInlet action on Burnaby Mountain, March 10
6- Saint John chapter to hold #StopKM dinner party with BC wine, March 10

February 16, 2018

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter took part in a blockade of the entrance to the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby on January 29.

Texas-based Kinder Morgan has been granted permission by the National Energy Board to begin 'pre-construction' work on a 2.6 kilometre-long tunnel through Burnaby Mountain (to connect the Burnaby Terminal and Westridge Marine Terminal) for its 890,000 barrel per day Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

February 15, 2018

The late Art Manuel and Nicole Schabus of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade have been critical voices in relation to the threats posed to Indigenous rights by trade policy.

Yesterday, the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau pledged a new 'legislative framework' for Indigenous rights in Canada.

The Globe and Mail reports, "The federal government says it will support Indigenous people in realizing their visions for their futures and in rebuilding their nations by creating new legislation that forces its officials to stop demanding that Indigenous people prove their constitutional rights exist."

How might this relate to the North American Free Trade Agreement and the so-called 'comprehensive and progressive' Trans-Pacific Partnership?

The Liberals tabled a proposed an Indigenous rights chapter for NAFTA during the 5th round of talks that took place in November 2017. The proposed chapter was then discussed during the 6th round of talks that took place last month in Montreal.